Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is.    The Honorable Governor of Texas, George W. Bush

I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.    Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, June 12, 2005

The War Against Terrierism

These are fourteen characteristics common to fascist states, as compiled by a Lawrence Britt:

  1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
  2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, and the like.
  3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, and the like.
  4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
  5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy.
  6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes the media are directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media are indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.
  7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
  8. Religion and Government are Intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.
  9. Corporate Power is Protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
  10. Labor Power is Suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.
  11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked and governments often refuse to fund the arts.
  12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.
  13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.
  14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

Now, to be honest, the article appears in a publication called Free Inquiry, a publication by Council of Secular Humanism, whose agenda it certainly would be to resist any perceived degree of religion and government lock-stepping. It comes to mind, however, at a time when there is debate over Amnesty International's referral to "our" Guantanamo operation as being the modern "gulag".

"Come now," we respond, "is there really any comparison possible to the Russkies' Siberian nightmare? To the North Koreans?" The argument seems to to be one of degree rather than whether similarities do exist. Britt makes a point in the article that he doesn't believe we're in the same boat with Hitler's Germany, Mussolini's Italy or Stalin's Russia, but clearly he is disturbed, as are many, to see so many of the above traits apparent in America.

When a child is mauled by a pit bull or other dog, a common reaction of the dog's owner goes something like, "He's around children all the time," or, "He's never exhibited this kind of behavior before." Owners will defend the breed, as if viciousness was just some kind of unfortunate circumstance and not the reason they didn't choose a Golden Retriever. The traits are bred, these "loving" pet owners are playing with fire and they know it.

Do we know it?


At 12:35 PM, Blogger JD said...

hey now, what are you trying to say here? Maybe you should go back to France you pansy assed commie!

At 10:05 PM, Blogger sequoit said...

What with Father's Day coming up, that's a hell of a thing to say! I might like to go to France, unfortunately they are not so completely moronic as to let me in to sell aluminum siding when they can do that perfectly well themselves.


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